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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 5, 2014-Chillin’ in Boca Chica

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Boca Chica

We are incredibly content in Boca Chica.

We’ve been here one week. We love it. Nothing much happens in Boca Chica but our life is good. We get up late, we do lazy boat projects. And we chill out. That’s it.

The thing is that it’s peaceful here. It’s quiet; very quiet. We hear birds. We hear the monkeys on the nearby island. Except for the birds and the monkeys, there’s no sound. We love the quiet.

The water is calm. There is hardly a wave. It is an inlet of the ocean but it could be a river. The water around us just swirls past the boat, lazy like. Once in a while a fish surfaces and leaves a circle in the water. Even when one of the sports fishing boats from the resort goes by their wakes seem somehow subdued and we don’t much feel them or hear their engines.

So our boat sits with a peaceful stillness all day and that encourages a calmness of the mind.

It is not just us. Ashore, life appears to be at a standstill. The trees are motionless. Sometimes a cow comes down to the shore and moos. There are some big houses. Their lawn lights blink on at 6:30 PM and in the morning they go off again. That’s the limit of the activity we see. There is a town, a village really. In the village people move at that slow pace of the third world. They hardly walk. We saw six guys waiting for the bus one morning. They sat on the swing set in the playfield next to the bus stop. After an hour, when the bus didn’t come, they got up and walked to a nearby bar. We waited another hour. Then the bus came. We boarded the bus but the local guys stayed in the bar. I guess their plans changed.

I went in to town again today and at the pier a man was in the water cleaning the bottom of his Panga. It was anchored, floating a few yards away from the pier, which is really just a wall.

He had a scraper in his hand. He had a face mask. I had to go around his Panga to get to the pier. He looked at me to see if I knew that he was in the water. We made eye contact. Then he returned to his task. I tied up my dinghy and scrambled up the wall and went up the hill for some bread and ice. The store was open. Often it is not. There is no sign on the store to tell me the hours it is open and the neighbors are no help, the lady next door just shrugged her shoulders when I asked her about the opening hours of the store. But today the store is open. I picked up some bread and asked about ice. No Ice. Where can I buy ice? Shrug of shoulders and a burst of Spanish which I don’t follow. I just stand there. Then she motions across the street. OK. I buy my bread, and a beer, and then I go across the street and buy three bags of ice from the blue house on the corner. While I wait for the man inside to get me the ice a man on the porch talks to me. I see from his eyes he is blind, but when I stick out my hand he reaches for it. His hand is boney but strong. The ice is $.75.

I go back to the dingy and the man scraping his boat is still there. He looks at me again. I nod to him and I motor around him giving him a wide berth. He returns to his task.

You know, in fact, this place doesn’t have much to recommend it. But despite the shortcomings, we are fine here. It is serene.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Boca Chica, Panama

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